Discover Germany from the comfort of your own home
The new tourism campaign lets you soak up some art, visit museums and explore everything Germany has to offer, via live streams and videos
Lake Forggensee, Bavaria, GNTB, Francesco Carovillano
Itchy feet? Troubled by the travel bug? Walls closing in?
While we all know we need to stay home right now, the pandemic is taking an additional toll on those who love to travel.
But while the boarding gates may be closed to us, Germany has opened a wonderful new window.
The canny crew behind its #DiscoverGermanyFromHome tourism campaign reckons that if the world can’t travel to Germany, there’s no reason why Germany can’t travel to the world.
They’ve used panoramic and drone photography, web cams and live streams, YouTube videos and virtual tours to upload vast swathes of the country so that we can enjoy all the best bits online.
From medieval towns to sweeping cityscapes, country castles to classical concerts, nature parks to boundless beaches, it means you can travel through the joys of Germany at your leisure - without leaving your house.
And while checking out your favourite spot, try an authentic German recipe, listen to an eclectic selection of German music or go hard-core and test your knowledge with a Germany quiz.
Soak up some art
Explore 700 years of art under one roof at the Städel Museum in Frankfurt, one of Germany’s oldest and home to thousands of paintings, sculptures and photographs, all of which you can peruse totally unimpeded. It’s a bit like Night at the Museum, with you in the starring role.
Make for a museum
Or how about visiting a whole island of museums? Museum Island in Berlin’s historic centre is an entire museum complex built over 100 years by five architects – just imagine the bickering. At the Bode Museum online you can whiz through six millennia of art and artefacts, in the time it takes for your kettle to boil. The museum is a UNESCO World Heritage Site, reason enough to take a virtual tour through its 35 rooms.
Get a grá for graffiti
For something completely different check out the Völklingen Ironworks, the first industrial monument from the heyday of industrialisation to be included in the UNESCO World Heritage List. At the click of a mouse you can wander among the works of 200 of its most important urban artists, including Jef Aérosol – what were the chances? – and Banksy.
Explore a city
If the pleasures of Erfurt, capital of the central German state of Thuringia, have so far eluded you, you can now rectify that fact in a way that’s even cheaper than a Ryanair flight. Take a thematic tour to check out its connections with Johan Sebastian Bach, or its floral parks, or go all modernist and find out more about the origins of Bauhaus design.
Don’t miss the five UNESCO World Heritage panoramas that local authorities in North Rhine-Westphalia have put online. They allow you zoom in and out and swivel round to get a complete tour in definition so high you can almost touch the marvellous multicoloured tiles of Aachen Cathedral. Swivel up to see the roof by stunning stained glass for maximum goosebumps. Wander the stately rooms of the Augustusburg and Falkenlust Palaces, or simply enjoy the view from the top of Cologne Cathedral. There’s a virtual reality option too, if you’ve got your headset at the ready.
Get on your bike for a pretend peddle along the Moselle Cycle Trail, a 250km route from Perl to Koblenz, past wineries, half-timbered houses and impressive castles. It runs mostly along the river bank and so, in real life, is relatively flat - a great one to keep in mind once travel resumes. Do it virtually first and you won’t even have to change gear.
Catch a concert
Be transported by the sheer joy of a performance from the iconic Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra. At its Digital Concert Hall you can enjoy more than 600 orchestral concerts from the past 10 years completely free of charge, including 15 with principal conductor Kirill Petrenko. Sit on the sofa or lie back in bed – you’re guaranteed the best seat in the house.
Till the fat lady signs
Check out the digital programme at the Bavarian State Opera too, in Munich, full in length and free of charge, including both old favourites and new productions. The world-famous company puts on more than 30 operas and 20 ballets in the space of one season, and has a repertoire spanning centuries, so you’re sure to find something you love.
Capture a castle
Germany is full of showy Schlosses and you can get to them in seconds now. Wander the great halls of Wartburg Castle, high up on an imposing precipice. Don’t miss romantic Drachenburg, a beautiful chateau straight out of a Disney cartoon that towers above the river Rhine. Then swing by stately Moritzburg, a Baroque palace in Saxony wonderfully perched on an artificial lake. Get up close and personal with its fabulous interior, which includes rooms covered in leather and even feathers.
Bring the great outdoors in
Escape to an island with a virtual walk around Heligoland, a North Sea archipelago owned variously by the Danes, the British and now the Germans, exploring its lighthouse and dunes. Or get a subterranean view with a virtual tour of the Schlossberg Cave. Alternatively tackle the Geierlay suspension bridge, the iron bridge over the majestic Partnach Gorge, and the treetop tower at the Saar Bow, with absolutely no fear of heights at all.
The new campaign includes some typically German recipes too, to really get you in the mood, including Swabian 'Maultaschen', a meaty dish cooked in a broth or fried in butter. Enjoy a bit of bratwurst, using, of course, only premium pork and beef from Thuringia. Finish off with a pudding of Printen, a special type of gingerbread associated with Aachen. And where better to pick up ingredients than your local German discounter?
Experience Germany like you’ve never seen it before.